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08-25-2004, 05:45 AM
People come to aikido for different reasons, but some have a pressing need for practical self-defence. I want to ensure that people have the basics to use aikido effectively as quickly as possible, and then their techniques can be improved over time.

My questions:
1. do you think this approach hinders the long term development of an aikidoka
2. how long do you think it would be for someone to improve their self-defence capabilties so they could respond to a general attack (unskilled but strong attack)
3. what would you focus on to improve self-defence capability in the early stages (both techniques and strategies for learning)

many thanks,


Yann Golanski
08-25-2004, 07:46 AM
How long is a piece of string?...

Any martial art has self defense applications. It gives you an edge. Nothing more. It's stacking the odds in your favour. Just as the guy who is attacking you will have stacked things in his favour. There is no such things as a 100% efficient method of self defense.

I'd point them to http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/ for a starter as he seems to know what he is on about -- put it that way, I have not faulted anything he says there. It's a good start.

Where it me, I would tell said person to not be in fights and avoid dangerous situations.
If they can not do that, then wear armour (stab proof clothing, bullet proof jackets, etc...) and hire a body guard! Oh and have nothing in your wallet that you can't spare. I'd rather my wallet was stolen than get a rusted blade in my guts any day.

If pressed as to where Aikido can help, I'd focus on the basics and the principles of tai-sabaki (avoidance) and kuzushi (breaking balance). I would have everyone train in randori and resistance as soon as possible but that's my Shodokan roots speaking...

Derek Webb
08-25-2004, 09:55 AM
A good question

One sensei I know said something on the lines of aikido is an art form which in time becames self defence, karate is a type of self defence that in time becames an art form.

If there was a pressing need I would tend to point them in the direction of the nearest self defense instructor. Otherwise as Yann suggests with the addition irimi and atemi

Good luck and I hope they don't ever have to use it



Lyle Laizure
08-29-2004, 10:55 PM
some have a pressing need for practical self-defence.

I think I would first inquire why there is a pressing need for practical self-defense. A pressing need that cannot be avoided makes me think that this may be a domestic abuse situation. I'm just taking a guess here and may be off base completely and I hope I am. I would look into the situation further.

09-01-2004, 07:24 AM
i guess that what was meant by 'a pressing need to learn self defense' is what brings the student to aikido in the first place. i was invited to judo as a 13 year old by a fellow member of my high school's wrestling team. i came to fight - i learned how not to. well, sort of.

my greatest challenge is not getting angry at work. tough to feel connected to the 'headless entity' corporation i work for.


09-01-2004, 08:53 AM
IMHO, to make the maximum fastest long-range progression, slow down, relax, and learn solid basics.

For fastest results, get off the line and Tenkan.

For self-defense, under stress we lose fine motor skills, so keep the gross motor skills simple. Again, get off the attack line. Clear before you control and counter.

Forget maximum progression. Get a few things solid. Body relaxed, mind calm, move. Again, work the basics.

Nick Simpson
09-02-2004, 07:14 AM
Try seeing things from the other persons point of view, take their argument/agression and incorporate it into yourself and then turn it back on them nicely. Sometimes its easier to avoid a confrontation than it is to win one that escalates. E.g. a drunk is agressive towards you, shake their hand and buy em a beer, Its something I've done more than a few times, people are generally good, they just get a bit misguided sometimes.